A WOMAN jailed for supplying heroin tried to secrete illicit substances into prison on being admitted to aid withdrawal from the drug, a court heard.

Annett Moore was displaying “unusual behaviour” as she was being taken from court to Low Newton Prison, in Durham, after receiving a three-year sentence for conspiracy to supply the class A drug, on February 5, last year.

Durham Crown Court was told she was removing lower clothing and appeared to be trying to search herself internally on the prison van.

Annelise Haugstad, prosecuting, said due to concerns of escort staff she was examined by the medical health team on arrival at the prison.

She disclosed that she had concealed packages filled with drugs “internally” and was unable to remove them herself, so she asked for assistance.

Moore was, therefore, escorted to the nearby University Hospital of North Durham, where two packages were removed from the inmate.

Miss Haugstad said on examination the packages, weighing 24 and 18g, respectively, contained seven pregabalin pills and 13 alprazolam tablets, both class C drugs, plus other non-controlled medication.

When police attended to speak to her, Moore declined to be interviewed.

But she later confirmed she had brought her own medication into Low Newton and had no intention of supplying onwards to other inmates.

The 47-year-old defendant, from Clifton, in York, admitted two counts of conveying a prohibited article into or out of a prison.

Miss Haugstad told the court Moore has five previous convictions for eight offences, several of them drug-related crimes, including heroin supply, in recent years.

The offence for which she was jailed came to light after she was seen conducting a £20 heroin street deal with a man.

Robert Mochrie, for Moore, said the latest offence arose after she alerted the authorities herself as to the presence of the drugs, albeit he accepted it was more through her “misfortune” than, “an act of goodwill”.

“It’s clear these drugs were brought into prison for her own personal use and that’s echoed by her record of previous convictions, as seen with her problems with heroin.

“These drugs were to help her withdraw from heroin abuse.

“She’s aware drugs in prisons are a valuable commodity, but no damage was done here as they were all retrieved.

“She’s aware that through her actions she will have to spend a longer period in custody.”

Judge James Adkin said she may have claimed that she took the medication to help withdraw from heroin, but she would have been prescribed with a methadone script by the prison.

“The Crown may argue some could have been used as a ‘currency’ within prison.”

He added a consecutive sentence of four months only to be served at the conclusion of the existing three-year jail term.